It may come as a surprise to you, but the kind of athletes that you may consider the epitome of fitness and physique don’t feel their best at low body fat levels. In fact, individuals that have extremely low body fat percentages have immune systems which are suppressed meaning they are more susceptible to illnesses such as colds and viruses.
This is why reducing your body fat levels are so difficult since it is not an ideal state for your body to be in, and to be at that level would be putting yourself in an unhealthy extreme situation.
Dropping below 10% body fat like the guys on the magazine covers is not going to increase
- Your energy levels
- Your chances of getting laid
- Your cash flow (probably will decrease it)
- Your ability to go back to back in the bedroom
- Your performance in the gym
- Being under constant fatigue will most likely decrease your social game as well
You still can have a lean body without being under 10% body fat. So is it worth really dropping those extra kilos ?
According to “The Complete Book of Sports Nutrition: A Practical Guide to Eating for Sport” other negative effects of being below 10% body fat include depleted glycogen stores, deficiencies in nutrients which can lead to further health problems such as lower bone density, lower performance, greater risk of infection, chronic fatigue and injury.
Furthermore if you have an eating disorder that is contributing to your low body fat percentage then you will be affected by the associated risks of this as well.
For men, lower body fat percentages can have an effect on hormones as well – meaning testosterone production. The ability to create lean muscle is reduced, sperm production decreases and sexual libido can be affected as well because of hormone imbalances.
Being 10 to 15 % body fat is the most optimal place to be.
Decreased Energy Levels
A person who has depleted their body fat levels are unable to perform at an optimal level. Since the body is starving for energy and has no energy stores it will affect both your mental and physical performance.
Decreased Testosterone Levels
According to a study by the International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, the average male competitor in a bodybuilding competition had their testosterone levels decrease from 9.22 to only 2.27ng/ml while preparing for competition. (Competition involves keeping keeping body fat percentages extremely low to achieve a ‘ripped’ or ‘shredded’ look.)
The drop in testosterone is due to low leptin levels. Through a unique chain of signals within the pituitary gland and hypothalamus of the brain, the testicles will produce less testosterone because of the lower leptin levels.
From experience being under 10% body fat is a mind fuck , you may think you have more sex appeal but at what cost ? The confidence I have from being around 10 to 15% body fat knowing my testosterone , energy and libido levels are at their peak out weighs the benefits of being below 10% body fat. Women can sense confidence in men so being at 10 to 15% body fat creates more sex appeal as well.
Aim for a healthy weight while eating foods that increase testosterone (click here) I eat all the foods listed daily and have noticed dramatic changes in my libido and energy levels. My room mate thinks I’m nuts because I eat them every single day! The things that are easy to do are also easy not to do. Just give it a try make it habit.
For more information about the importance of testosterone (click here).
Lower Sperm Count and Male Libido
Warning complicated warning ahead –>“Hypogonadotropic hypogonadism” or secondary hypogonadism are conditions where males have a hormone releasing deficiency that can have an effect on libido and sperm production. This is as a result of the lower leptin and testosterone levels caused by having a very low body fat percentage.
Put simply, since the male body is placed in a state of survival it conserves its energy and sperm production drops along with libido. Therefore its harder to go back to back in the bedroom and if you enjoy having a good healthy sex life does being below 10% body fat sound smart to you?
DO YOU THINK SHE CARES IF YOU HAVE YOUR SHREDDED SERRATUS AND ABDOMINALS OR IF YOU YOU CAN SATISFY HER SEXUALLY ON MULTIPLE OCCASIONS?
Decreases in Athletic Performance
Your body begins to run out of carbohydrates as an energy source after approximately 20 minutes of physical exercise. This is when your body will turn to fat stores to burn as energy. Your athletic
performance will be affected if your body fat levels are too low since there is less stored energy available to burn.
Your Muscles Are Unable to Recover Post-Exercise
Glycogen levels stored in your body and liver are very low when your body fat percentage is also low. Since glycogen is an important part of helping your muscles recover, if your body fat percentage is extremely low your muscles will not be able to recover.
This constant feeling of being fatigue , will carry over into your personal and work life. Which are as important as looking shredded!
You Have An Unbalanced Life
In order to achieve the extreme levels of a low body fat percentage an individual needs to dedicate a large amount of time and energy, and make lifestyle choices which most people are unwilling to go through with. This could mean food preparation and avoiding eating out, not drinking any alcohol and constantly measuring the amount of calories that they intake. You may find that it consumes your entire life without leaving you time to do anything else other than train and watching your diet.
See if you can answer this question:
How many wealthy men, successfully men, rich men, artists, doctors, actors, directors, business owners, entrepreneurs, etc are shredded and are below 10% body fat?
Close to none right?
Being shredded demands so much of a person physically and mentally it’s not practical for most men that are seeking to be successful.
Intense thinking burns calories, being creative burns calories that’s why it’s always important for your glycogen levels to be at optimal levels.
Imagine a business owner, artists, creator etc starting the day with depleted glycogen levels. There is no way they will reach the potential performance levels that day.
WHY DO YOU THINK GYM JUNKIES GET CALLED MEAT HEADS?
It might be something to do with that’s all that’s on their mind ” training and eating”. It’s easier for them to gain muscle , all their glycogen gets used in the gym and recovery instead on thinking and creating Which burns large amount of calories as well. For example playing an instrument burns a large amount of energy similar to an artists creating art.
You’re Constantly In a Bad Mood
When it comes to the function of your brain, having adequate levels of fatty acids is important. If you don’t have enough of the essential fatty acids that your brain requires to function then you will be easily irritable and have your mood affected. Not to mention the social isolation of counting calories and constant time in the gym will add to your bad mood.
Your Skin Becomes Affected and Looks Awful
Healthy skin requires dietary fat in order to remain healthy. Also dehydration of your skin can happen leaving your skin very dry. This is because people who are trying to get a lean look will often cut their carbohydrate intake and carbohydrates help retain fluids in the body.
When you become dehydrated, your body will turn to the water from your skin in order to keep your vital organs functioning and as a result your skin becomes patchy and dry.
For males that want to achieve the most out of life while also looking lean and have a healthy body it is possible to do so. Unless you are a genetic freak being below 10% body fat all the time will come at a cost.
Just remember you only have so many hours in a day your aim should be to create a body that is an efficient working machine physically and mentally that is able to bring you closer to your life goals sooner than later.
From personal experience the confidence you will have from walking around in a body that is lean and created to drive you towards smashing your goals sooner than later all while having a extremely high libido. Definitely out weights the feelings you will have being below 10% body fat.
This post was originally on my lifestyle blog feel free to check it out at www.beyoulifestyle.com